You are an expert ranger trying to follow an equal level opponent, who is as skilled at you. How often should you catch it? What if YOU are the one trying to cover your tracks?
If we're dealing with a same-level expert specialist, that's an expert same-level challenge.
An average same-level challenge ought to be represented by dealing with an average guy of the same level, with average stats, no magic items, no speciality in the skill in question. 50%-55% success for an average PC, higher for a specialist.
Nothing in the rules say that waking up the same bunnies at level 1 and at level 15 should have different DCs; they state the opposite, actually.
Right, but how often do you meet the exact same bunnies again after 14 levels? They'll be unique harmless fluffy bunnies created for the situation, with level-appropriate stealth abilities, and be hard to soothe.
And if you're high level and something is hidden under a pillow, it will be really well hidden under a pillow. And if you need to pick up gossip in town, the people in town will be really reluctant to talk, so you'll need level-appropriate diplomacy skills to get anything out of them.
Because if they aren't level-appropriate, they won't be a challenge, in which case there'd be no point in the adventure-writer bothering with them.
To clarify, since it seems like you're mainly responding to me: I agree. I think non-magic healing of HP is best for the game. But other people don't like it: "My suspension of belief is broken when a PC gets brought to the bring of death by being shot full of twenty arrows and then recovers in ten minutes thanks to a few mundane bandages!"
The idea (as I understand it) is that, say, Cure Light Wounds can heal you only if your current HP is below, say 30. So for level 2 PCs, Cure Light Wounds does it's job just fine, same as always. But for high level characters, a wand of Cure Light Wounds is going to be of very little use; you'd have to get a wand of Cure Moderate Wounds to heal you up to 60HP, or a wand of Cure Serious Wounds to heal you up to 90HP.
This fixes the 'problem' that high-level PF1 PCs continue to use Cure Light Wounds throughout their career. It doesn't enforce a 5-minute adventuring day, it just means that to keep going you either need to avoid damage, or use high-level healing magic, or press on while injured.
It has the odd side-effect that a high-level PC would say, "I'm seriously wounded - can you cast Cure Light Wounds on me until I'm back to 30HP? OK, now I'm only lightly wounded, so I need Cure Serious Wounds." But that could be fixed with renaming.
Reminder: everyone's goals in this part of the game design are different. ("Mundane healing is stupid; how can a few bandages heal a brutal stabbing?" "I don't want mandatory Clerics!" "Good party balance should be rewarded!" "My game is being spoiled because the party keep stopping to rest until they've got their HP back, and this means there's no attrition and no point in fighting low-level battles!" "I think it's stupid that my PCs keep jabbing each other with low-level wands until they get their health back!" "I want the party to be able to keep going for more encounters; resting spoils the narrative flow!" "I don't care as long as there's minimal tedious book-keeping!" Etc.)
There are many possibilities. A stamina-like system (eg, damage taken when below half HP cannot be healed by first aid), or a maximum amount of mundane healing a character can receive in a day, or something like that. Most require some extra book-keeping.
But there are other threads already devoted to discussing that.
Except when treating wounds.
But, sometimes continuity is weird. Like in this chapter where the heroes are fighting waves of invaders close together. Having one group TPK and another one walk right in before the next wave (e.g. immediately) is pretty weird.
Try thinking of the party as a group of orc guard mooks in an ordinary dungeon. If they are defeated and wiped out, that doesn't mean their boss, the necromancer, is automatically going to be defeated and fail to complete the sinister ritual. It just means the heroes have defeated one group of evil monsters and now they have to fight the next encounter.
The suggestion here would absolutely solve the 'people get CLW wands instead of CMW wands' problem (if it is a problem, which I'm not convinced it is) - if CLW can't take you above 30HP, no high level PC is going to want to rely on wands of CLW.
Adding secondary healing effects is an interesting idea, but the majority of the time only hit-point healing is needed.
That said, I can't figure how hard it seems to be to distinguish game design from adventure design. Outside the playtest, even if the monsters stay as strong as they are now, a GM can easily adjust the difficulty of encounters and other tasks to the desired level.
Game design guides adventure design.
The reasons the playtest adventures say things like "detecting the fluffy bunnies is a DC 24 Perception check, and waking them up gently is a DC 27 Nature or Perform check" (when those sound like tasks a level 1 Druid ought to be able to manage) is presumably because the game design tells us that any task that doesn't match the expected DCs is beneath the party and not worth significant XPs.
If this were a real campaign like Rise of the Runelords, it would be expected that a TPK in chapter 3 means the campaign is over - you wouldn't play chapters 4, 5 or 6 after that TPK. Time to start a new campaign.
Or, if you'd already paid for books 4-6 and wanted to get your money's worth, a new group of mid-level PCs show up and stumble upon the plot.
Yes, but if mundane medicine is developed enough to actually diagnose what poison is afflicting you (almost impossible in medieval times normally) is 100% setting dependant.
On that basis, the rules should leave out every use of mundane medicine, since there's no guarantee that they will have any practical knowledge of how to treat wounds, poisons or diseases. (Most 19th century doctors and surgeons didn't even bother washing their hands between treating patients, so were as likely to kill you as cure you.)
And they should leave out crossbows, since not all settings would have the technology to invent crossbows. And plate mail, and so on...
Some people buy high-grade wands. (They're more useful in battle than wands of CLW.) But does it matter if people buy them or not? What's the big deal? There are lots of unpopular wands. How many wands of Aid or Bestow Curse or Zone of Truth or Mirror Polish have you purchased lately?
Well, if a spell is unsuitable for certain types of adventure, then making it deity-based means that players can still break the adventure if they want.
So the idea could be that it's up to the GM to decide which 'uncommon' narrative-breaking spells are OK for the game. If it doesn't look like a problem, then the GM can permit it for any player who bothers to ask.
...Or maybe it's just a future option that isn't in the playtest yet.
N N 959 wrote:
And why should it depend on the GM? Why should what I know about an Ogre given the same character and the same roll be different depending on who is running the game?
There are some advantages to letting this go undefined: any attempt to codify this means that every creature stat-block has to be accompanied by a series of "what you know if you beat the DC by 0, 5, 10, 15" info blocks, which makes creating new creatures much more laborious.
And it would also make that knowledge very rigid. A GM can tell the fireball specialist wizard, "This creature is resistant to fire," as the first piece of information, because that's what he cares about most, or tell the archer, "This creature is resistant to non-silver weapons". If the rules were more precise, that probably wouldn't be possible.
To me that's like saying, "An optimally built and played combat-focused character shouldn't ever have more than 70% chance of winning a battle."
But I suppose it depends a lot on the type of challenge.
Consider some situations:
The party comes to a trap. If they have a 70% chance of finding it, and a 70% chance of disarming it, they have only a 50% chance to avoid triggering it. This is fine, as long as the trap is not too deadly.
A sneaky character must make a perception check, an acrobatics check, a stealth checks, pick a lock, make another acrobatics check, and another stealth check, in order to get past the guards, steal the treasure and escape.
There is a door to enter the dungeon that can only be opened by positive energy (for example, pouring a healing potion on it). The party must make some kind of magical knowledge check to realise this.
The party is attempting diplomacy to find information about where to go next in an adventure. If they fail, is that a good thing? Does failure cause them to antagonise the local criminal underworld and make the adventure more interesting? Or does it just mean they get stuck?
A character attempts a diplomacy check to talk an angry cyclops out of attacking the party. The encounter is designed to be a battle, so the GM expects the character to fail.
1. What's up with mainstay Cleric spells being Uncommon? Both Protection and Detect (Alignment) are Uncommon, with no listed way to get them? Am I missing something?
In PF1, those were both potential narrative-breakers. One is an easy way to negate mind controlling villains, and the other offers a way to smoke out traitors, secret vampires, etc, without doing any real detective work. A good GM could work around the issue, but they probably wanted to give GMs an easy way to opt out of the problem.
Players like consistent rules for common situations. It reduces incidences of the GM saying, "Sorry, you have no idea that your PC has a disease, because the expert medic rolled low, and now you can't cure it without metagaming."
And it's a nice little timesaver for the GM if, say, monster has an AC in its statblock, instead of making us choose an appropriate AC based on CR.
In my first D&D 5e campaign the party were trying to climb a wall with a rope & grappling hook. I couldn't see any relevant climb DC in the rulebook so I pulled a number out of my head. Inexperienced, I chose what was probably too high a number, and the party spent the next 15 minutes trying and failing to overcome their own rope.
If I change that number next time, I break internal consistency. If I keep it, the party stays incompetent.
A little guidance is nice sometimes.
If I my character, Picky McLocksmith, is a Rogue with maximum dexterity who invests in every possible feat and magic item to make him good at picking locks (thus making him less invested in every other area), why should he fail to pick the locks he encounters more than, say, 5% of the time? What more could he have done? If you could auto-succeed at everything, that would be a problem. But succeeding reliably at one minor aspect of the game on a regular basis doesn't break anything.
Any task that a character undertakes will eventually become trivial to them as they continue to gain more experience.
Sure, but I never get to experience that unless adventures continue to challenge me with level 5 locks when I'm level 10. Will they? I suspect not, because:
As you grow so to do your challenges.
I'd argue that it's exactly that 'flaw' - the ability to get ahead of the curve, to succeed reliably at challenges if you specialise - that makes PF1 feel less like a treadmill.
If my 'expert' PC fails 35% of the time at 'medium' tasks throughout his career, he doesn't feel like much of an expert.
So I'm just supposed to assume that I can use a certain skill to identify that someone has a magical affliction that is showing no symptoms
Nah, just roll a dice behind a screen, then tell them what you want them to know. (Assuming you're GM. If you're a player, it's out of your control.)
No, it's 50%(ish) success rate if you're optimised for the task at hand. If you're not, your chances of success will be much lower. A d2 can't capture that level of nuanced disempowerment.
Unlike PF1, being flat-footed is a very simple condition: you get a -2 circumstance penalty to your AC, and you're flat-footed.
The definition of flat-footed is that you're flat-footed?
A dex based character should be easier to hit than platemail character when caught off guard. There's just so much more to hit.
Being able to sneak up on someone in platemail and slide a weapon through a gap in their armor makes more sense to me than someone with 10 Dex being unaffected by ambushes.
A guy with high dexterity can still respond to a surprise attack - they're not Helpless, after all - and the higher their dexterity, the better they can do it.
It's in there for a specific reason: namely to balance casting whilst using a 2-h weapon.
If that's the sole purpose of this system, then we can make up a more targeted rule for that. "You cannot attack with a two-handed weapon and cast a spell that uses your hands in the same round unless you get a feat that says you can."
Then we can make basic item interactions free and focus on more interesting stuff in combat.
It doesn't fight against mine. My core assumptions are that high level casters exist in this setting (but are rare) and have dangerous powers, and magic works consistently. That's what makes it a fantasy game rather than a medieval Europe simulator.
If we want to change the setting to one where wizards don't do that, then we should change the rules. For example: Greater Invisibility and Fly require some kind of Concentration so you can't use both at once. Or Fireballs have Short range. Or Potions of See Invisibility are common.
Alternatively, we can have the people of this world not be stupid. Like real soldiers facing artillery, the'll form a thin line rather than bunching up so they all get hit at once. (If a Wizard kills 5 soldiers per fireball, and there's an army of 500, he'll run out of fireballs before they run out of soldiers.) Or they bring magic of their own. Or they'll all ready an action to fire an arrow, and the instant they see the origin point of the second fireball, they'll target the spot it came from.
I haven't looked into it for PF2, but PF1 Magic Missiles can't detect illusions, nor can they see illusions. They can't see at all, because they don't have eyes. They home in on the creature targeted, by magic. This is the way I've always thought of it working.
I could argue that the way you're doing it spoils the intended balance by making Magic Missile stronger and Mirror Image weaker... but honestly the balance was never that great in the first place.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The question is "Why?"
Because people are having experiences like this:
I don't understand what you're trying to say either. I don't think 'characters are decks' became popular until Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (or maybe an earlier game like Sentinels of the Multiverse). I'm guessing 3rd Ed means D&D 3rd edition (not sure if you're counting D&D 3.5e and/or Pathfinder in that) and I think M:tG is Magic: the Gathering, a game I haven't played but I associate with buying random booster packs. I'm not sure which of these games died 20 years ago (D&D 3e came out 18 years ago); perhaps you were being sarcastic?
Rangers (in this hypothetical system where I get to decide what Fighters are good at) can still be distinguished from Fighters by their animal companions, animal empathy, wilderness survival skills, traps, tracking bonuses and spellcasting.
Fighters don't get those things. They don't get to be way better in combat than anyone else, because that throws off balance. So we have to give Fighters whatever we can realistically give them, such as generous skill points and saving throws. Otherwise they're just a bad class.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
What exactly are you looking for?
A Fighter should be good at spotting ambushes, setting ambushes, military strategy and leadership in general, athletics, crafting weapons and armor, knowing about the types of enemies they're likely to fight, first aid, riding horses, engineering, and any other skill you'd want in the military.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I have never understood the desire for the Fighter to have all these out of combat abilities, they are called the Fighter, not Explorer, Medic, or Socialite.
"I've never understood the desire for classes other than Fighters to be good at fighting. If you want to be good at fighting, play a Fighter."
Ruleset with zero disobedience stops being a roleplaying game and just becomes a novel. The adventure becomes determined.
It would become a roleplaying game focused on player expression rather than challenge. The adventure would become completely undetermined, because the players could derail the intended story as they pleased.
It would probably get boring fast, but I doubt it would much resemble a novel.
The chief problem with introducing encounter powers is the need to ensure that abilities all have the same effective value. Normally you could vary the impact of an ability by modifying how often it could be used, or how long it took to use it, but tying everything to encounters you only have one value available.
You could still vary how long it takes to use; just because it's once per encounter doesn't mean it's a single action.
And there aren't many abilities that are balanced against one another by Uses Per Day. Spells of the same level aren't balanced that way. Basic martial powers are mostly unlimited use.
My main problem with 'once per Encounter' is that an Encounter is a vague and artificial construct. If I create a magic wall in the middle of the room that blocks off one my enemies until we've dealt with the other, is that two encounters? If a second group of enemies turns up towards the end of the battle because I made too much noise, is it still only one?
'Can be used once per short rest' (or 'x times per day') is clearer to me, and makes more sense for abilities that can be used out of combat.
I'm not even sure how you arrive at "at 5th level you only get 1 hp."
You do only get one extra HP compared to the 4HP Toughness gives you at level 4. The alternative (wrong) interpretation they were debating was if it gave you an extra 5HP on top of the extra 4HP you had from level 4.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That example is a hyperbole that makes no sense, since that would require a Fly spell for every character (party assumes 4, not including Familiars or Animal Companions), so 4 instances of Fly spell is not viable under most any level unless multiple sources granting it are available (maybe a wand, but that's 4 or so Resonance Points, and 4 charges on said wand). Based on that information alone, the "fly" tactic won't work or be a valid avenue of solving the apparent encounter, since the apparent ability to apply it isn't practical in the slightest, and even if it was, did have its own hefty cost.
It's a situation I've seen in the past. A high-level Sorcerer can usually afford four slots for Fly. The Cleric can cast Air Walk to save you a slot. Or cast it on the strongest PC and have him carry everyone else (admittedly, this is a lot harder if the duration is 1 minute). Or fly there with rope and then everyone else can climb.